BEVERLY HILLS, Calif – Winona Ryder marked her 31st birthday Tuesday in the defendant's chair as she and jurors watched security video of a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping expedition that led to theft charges.
A running commentary was supplied by Ken Evans, the security chief at the Beverly Hills store who testified Monday that the actress told him a director had instructed her to shoplift to prepare for a movie role.
Ryder is accused of stealing items totaling $5,560 last December. The Girl, Interrupted star could get up to three years in prison.
The video showed Ryder examining a $1,595 white Gucci slip dress with a fringe hem. Evans pointed out to jurors how Ryder took the dress off its hanger and threw it over her arm.
As she moved through departments, Ryder wore a black hat with a price tag. After she entered two dressing rooms, the hat ended up in a shopping bag and other items disappeared from view.
At the end of her shopping, Ryder was seen chatting with a sales clerk and then paying more than $3,000 for a leather bomber jacket and two tops.
The video ended with Ryder leaving the store and being confronted by a security guard and two others who followed her out. They immediately took her shopping bags and led her back into the store.
Separately, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday that Superior Court Judge Elden Fox wrongly held secret hearings and sealed documents in the case.
The court ordered the documents unsealed following a request by The Associated Press, Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily Journal. Fox was given the option of holding a hearing Thursday to detail why he wants the documents sealed, said attorney Susan Seager, who represents the news organizations.
The appeals court said that so far the judge has failed to justify his actions.